Monday, December 13, 2010

The Story of Ben

Today is my 7th child’s birthday.  He is the 2nd of the lower five.  Somehow our kids gained the nicknames “upper five” & “lower five” and Ben is in the “lower five” meaning the 5 youngest children.

I have a lot of memories & life milestones that I associate with Ben.  It truly is a miracle that he is here today.  We knew before Ben was born God had a specific purpose for him.  He didn’t get the easiest start on life.

God told Scott Ben was coming before I was even pregnant with him.  Scott walked in the kitchen one night & said, “God told me that our next child will be named Benjamin.”  Honestly, I was a little disappointed because my last baby was a boy & I wanted a girl.  And of course a few months later we find out we are pregnant.

When I was 10 weeks pregnant with Ben, the kids & I were in a very serious car accident.  I rolled our Suburban, landing upside down in a wheat field after I lost control on a slick rock road. In the ER, they prepared me for the upcoming miscarriage of my baby.  They told me there was no way I wouldn’t lose the baby, the accident was too bad. My little girl was in the next ER room screaming as the nurses dug glass out of her broken leg.  We would soon go to a bigger hospital where she would have surgery on her leg. Amazingly, she was the only child seriously injured.

They did a sonogram to confirm the baby was gone, but what it confirmed is that the baby was not only alive, but had a very strong heart beat.  The placenta did have a small tear, but healed quickly.  My pregnancy was physically fine.  I never had any problems, but emotionally I was a mess.  As a result of Post Traumatic Stress I was very depressed.

When Ben was born he was the biggest baby I had ever had, weighing in at 9lb 11oz.  He was my second baby to be born at home.  We were all so excited he was finally there.

Benjamin Aaron Bailey would be his name.

After he was born, as the midwife was checking him over, she felt a clicking in his hips.  We had 2 babies prior who had done this, but their hips grew & formed o’k without treatment.  Hip Dysplasia is what it is called, common with my babies for some reason.  But when I took him in for his 2 month check up, the doctor knew there was something terribly wrong when he went to check his hips & the left one totally dislocated.  We were quickly sent to Scottish Rite Hospital for Children where they specialize in birth defects.  The treatment was totally free!  They confirmed what the pediatrician suspected, Bens’ hip socket had not formed correctly & would not hold the ball joint in the socket.  The first treatment was a special brace, but it didn’t work.  So the next option was surgery & body cast.

First they had to loosen up his leg muscles & to do that, he would need to spend 4 weeks in traction. I had never heard of this before, but knew more than I wanted to know really soon.

Here is Ben in his traction device.  He had to spend at least 8 hours a day in traction.

Believe it or not, he was really good for this.  He laid there playing with toys or watching TV.  Rarely cried or fussed.  We would soon find out just how good of a baby he was.

At the end of the 4 weeks, we went back to the hospital for the surgery, praying all the while that God had miraculously healed his hip & no surgery or cast would be needed.

His hips had not healed, but he didn’t need surgery, but he still needed the cast.  This is the blue cast.  It went from his ankles up to a few inches below his arm pits.  There was a nice cut out in the crotch so that we could still change diapers.  I won’t go into that here, but it was quite an ordeal to change a diaper.  Only me & my sitter ever did it.

Ben was such a good baby!  He rarely cried or fussed, in spite of not being move his legs around or sit up.  He sat in a bouncy seat when I wasn’t holding him.

Ben wore the cast for over 4 months.  When he was about 7 months old we finally got to take off the cast & not get another one.  He had 2 casts that he wore. 

Today, Ben is an extremely active 11 year old.  He has never been slowed down, his development was not hindered at all.

He still goes back for check ups on his hips, but finally after 8 years out of the cast, the doctor said the hip is completely normal & Ben should never have any trouble.

Ben is my reminder of God’s amazing protection & grace.  He reminds me to slow down & look you in the eye & listen.

  Ben reminds me how important hugs are, he gives me several everyday.

Ben reminds me how important it is to stop & remember the amazing things that God has taught me since the accident and how far he has brought me.

I can’t wait to see what Ben becomes when he grows up!  God is at work in his life now & as a mom, it is so exciting to watch.

I love you Ben!  Happy Birthday!